A big drug problem in Big Sky Country inspired a media campaign targeting users and potential users of methamphetamine. The mission of billboards, and TV and radio public service announcements broadcast in Montana—and available online—is to reduce meth use in a state that experienced a 90 percent increase in meth-related arrests a decade ago. The campaign appears to be working; since the PSA’s started running in 2005, meth use by Montana teenagers has dropped more than sixty percent, and Montana has dropped from 5th to 39th in meth use among U.S. states.

The results may be attributed to a compelling use of the visual mediums, television in particular.  30-second videos, available on www.montanameth.org, are produced with a gritty sense of realism. One spot features three clean-cut teenage boys ringing a doorbell, then suddenly assaulting the family members inside and stealing items from the house. When it’s revealed by the narrator that this is an effect of meth use, the once clean-cut boys appear physically ravaged by their drug use.Side effects of abuse of meth Include tooth decay and meth mouth.

A privately funded organization, the Montana Meth Project, provides these campaigns. Several other states, including Idaho and Arizona, are following suit. It seems to be working in those places as well. Reports show those both Idaho and Arizona have experienced a decline of more than 50 percent in meth use by teenagers..

The early awareness of meth dangers—especially among at-risk groups—is helpful in curbing experimentation in would-be first-time users. The campaign addresses this direct connection between even one time and future health threats. One video, entitled Bathtub, shows a teenage girl telling a friend on the phone that she lied to her parents as to her whereabouts. Then, she turns on a shower before noticing her “future” self is huddled below her and warning her: “Don’t do it. Don’t do it.”

Ending use among regular and long-time meth users is not so simple. While billboard, radio and TV messages may reach them, these individuals will need more comprehensive solutions. Luckily there is help available for Montana meth users.

Burning Tree offers long-term drug rehabilitation at residential facilities in Texas. These facilities, staffed by addiction specialists accustomed to treating methamphetamine abuse and addiction, are located outside of Dallas and Austin. When other attempts at ending addiction have failed, individuals suffering chronic relapse have found success at Burning Tree, due in part to a customized program. In some instances, the drug use may be connected to a mental health issue, and Burning Tree provides a dual diagnosis and integrated treatment plan to most effectively help a client reach his or her goals.

For more information about helping yourself or a loved one in Montana effectively end a meth addiction, call Burning Tree at 866-287-2877 or visit www.burningtree.com.